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Wage Discrimination ^ | April 23, 2014 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on 04/23/2014 4:57:58 AM PDT by Kaslin

"President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before discussing the "unjust" wage differences between men and women, let's acknowledge an even greater injustice -- which no one seems to care about -- age injustice.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers ages 16 to 24 earn only 54 cents on every dollar earned by workers 25 or older ( This wage gap is 43 percent greater than the male/female gap. Our president, progressives, do-gooders, academics and union leaders show little interest in big, greedy corporations ripping off the nation's youth. You might say, "Whoa, Williams! There's a reason younger people earn less than older people. They don't have the skills or experience." My response would be -- if I shared the vision of the president, media elite and do-gooders: Just as there can be no justification for big, greedy corporations paying women less than they pay men, there's no justification for them to exploit the nation's youth.

The 77 percent median income statistic, used in discussions about male/female differences in earnings, tells us nothing about differences that might explain the differences in income, and it leads to stupid discussions. Let's use some common sense and look at some differences between men and women that may have a bearing on earnings.

Kay S. Hymowitz's article "Why the Gender Gap Won't Go Away. Ever," in City Journal (summer 2011), shows that female doctors earn only 64 percent of what male doctors earn. But it turns out that only 16 percent of surgeons are women, whereas 50 percent of pediatricians are women. Even though surgeons have put in many more years of education and training than pediatricians and earn higher pay, should Obama and Congress equalize their salaries? Alternatively, they might force female pediatricians to become surgeons.

There are inequalities everywhere. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Asian men and women have median earnings higher than white men and women. Female cafeteria attendants earn more than their male counterparts. Females who are younger than 30 and have never been married earn salaries 8 percent higher than males of the same description. Among women who graduated from college during 1992-93, by 2003 more than one-fifth were no longer in the workforce, and another 17 percent were working part time. That's to be compared with only 2 percent of men in either category. Hymowitz cites several studies showing significant career choice and lifestyle differences between men and women that result in differences in income.

According to 2010 BLS data, the following jobs contain 1 percent or less female workers: boilermakers, brick masonry, stonemasonry, septic tank servicing, sewer pipe cleaners and trash collectors. By contrast, women are 97 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers, 80 percent of social workers, 82 percent of librarians and 92 percent of dietitians and nutritionists and registered nurses.

For people having limited thinking skills, differences in earnings cannot be explained away. For them, Congress has permitted -- and even fostered -- a misallocation of people by race, sex and ethnicity. They'll argue that courts have consistently concluded that "gross" disparities are probative of a pattern and practice of discrimination. So what to do? Maybe President Obama and Congress should require women, who are overrepresented in preschool and kindergarten teaching, to become boilermakers, garbage collectors and brick masons and mandate that male boilermakers, trash collectors and brick masons become preschool and kindergarten teachers until both of their percentages are equal to their percentages in the population. You say, "Williams, to do that would be totalitarianism!" I say that if Americans accept that Congress can force us to buy health insurance, how much more totalitarian would it be for Congress to force people to take jobs they don't want?

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: gendergap; income; wagediscrimination

1 posted on 04/23/2014 4:57:59 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
The only way we can reach perfect equality is if everyone makes zero.
With 0bama policies, we're getting there.

2 posted on 04/23/2014 5:09:02 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Kaslin

A simple economic premise makes the whole discussion moot. If women earned only 77% of what men earn for DOING THE EXACT SAME WORK then why wouldn’t greedy capitalists simply fire all the men and replace them with women, thus increasing profits by 23%?

3 posted on 04/23/2014 5:32:15 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree (lib-pocrisy: requiring photo ID at a march protesting photo IDs for voters.)
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To: Kaslin

Solving the “wage gap”, like solving poverty, is one of those conundrums that is just not amenable to legislation, or jawboning, or even any kind of rational argument.

First of all, there is a problem with definitions. Why must the contributions be measured only in terms of dollars? And what defines “equal work” for a given job position? Some people just bring more to any given job than others, and the very definition of ANY job changes on sometimes a day to day basis.

No position of employment exists at all except for the fact that having an employee enables the proprietor to more efficiently achieve objectives, in terms of goods or services, in dealing with the public, be it in civil affairs, or some kind of commerce. To justify any wage, the employee must be producing more than the amount of value added by presence in and fulfilling the demands of the position. Only in this excess margin of productivity over wages and benefits paid, does there exist any possibility of profit to the employer (the only reason the job exists in the first place), and any future wage increases for the employee.

Now, some people have never worked a day in their lives, simply because the satisfaction they get from carrying out the assigned duties by their employer is a source of great satisfaction, and they even derive pleasure from this satisfaction, to the point they are so surprised that they may exclaim, “I get paid for this too?”

Sadly, there are too few people who find this situation in their own lives, but of those who lack such inspiration, they continue to plug along each day, a workhorse striving mightily, because of perceived obligations. Because these obligations weigh heavily, they respond by working that much harder, and thus provide the margin of productivity that justifies their wages and benefits.

Then there are the marginal workers, starting at a minimum wage, lacking skills and many times, motivation, who may resent the very demands put upon them, and in truth, cannot justify their presence in terms of productivity at that level. It is only from the excess productivity that the enthusiasts and the workhorses provide, that there is any funding left to cover the salary and start-up costs of turning these newbies into productive workers. If they never “catch fire” and become self-starters, they are soon to find themselves “disemployed”, and probably unemployable until an attitude shift takes place.

And that, dear people, is why raising the minimum wage above $0.00 does not work, either in the short or longer term.

None of this is new or original. It was discovered when people were living in tribes and clans, and the wisdom has been passed down through the ages. Sure, there have been “egalitarian” schemes proposed (usually by and for the benefit of the very marginal workers), but one by one, every one of these schemes has failed. There shall never be “the right person” to make these “new deals” work.

4 posted on 04/23/2014 5:41:48 AM PDT by alloysteel (Selective and willful ignorance spells doom, to both victim and perpetrator - mostly the perp.)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Such a premise would require CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. How many libtards do you personally know who have them? FEEEEEEEELINGS, on the other hand, do not require these skills.

5 posted on 04/23/2014 11:53:50 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: alloysteel
Way back when my older brother was helping build Interstate 29, this idiotic thinking had taken root. He and the guys on the road crew were tying rods, laying rebar and doing other backbreaking work in the hot sun. The gals were directing traffic. It was considered equal pay for equal work.

While I will grant you that each gender was doing the work they were most suited to, it was not equal work. Not even close.

The only argument in favor of it which made sense was that a young lady with a good rack in a skimpy orange top was more equipped to slow or stop traffic than her male counterpart. She, therefore, had a talent in short supply and was entitled to the same pay for easier work.

6 posted on 04/23/2014 12:02:44 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Good one. Just another way to expose their lie.

7 posted on 04/23/2014 12:11:56 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Conseravtives are all that's left to defend the Constitution. Dems hate it, and Repubs don't care.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Unions do that also. I did some work for a big hotel in DC once where they had some unions. Telephone operators got the same pay as pot scrubbers regardless of the ease of the job. Of course, most phone operators were female and men did the pot scrubbing.

8 posted on 04/23/2014 12:13:26 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Conseravtives are all that's left to defend the Constitution. Dems hate it, and Repubs don't care.)
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